This question has been debated at
great length and no conclusion has been reached, so let me offer
my opinion. As an accumulator, shooter, collector, and restorer
of fine firearms, we find that most all firearms are restorable,
barring fire damage. It all depends on how far you want to take
This is a much deeper question than first
meets the eye, the answer to which not all will ever agree. You
can't generalize every situation, and each must be judged on its
own merits. We must ask is whether you are talking about the
re-bluing of a firearm or a professional restoration that will
meet or exceed factory standards. Restoring an item is defined
as "bringing it back to its original, or unimpaired
condition." A quality finish depends on the proper
preparation and treatment of the metal. We take a number of
important steps during the restoration process to ensure bluing
of the highest quality. Maintaining the integrity of the firearm
is our main goal. Keeping the proper separation of the flats and
the rounds and preserving all the screw holes are a must. There
is a big difference in hand polishing every small blemish out of
a particular area instead of using a buffing wheel. Crisp
lettering and roll marks are very important, and can make the
all difference in determining if the right decision was made on
whether to restore, or not.
So for the big question: how do we know when
itís time for a restoration?
Do all old or worn firearms need to be
restored? Absolutely not! There are firearms that need to be
left alone. Some firearms would benefit more from a
preservation/conservation service rather than a restoration, but
those are few in comparison to the overwhelming majority of guns
that are "restoration candidates." If a firearm is
badly rusted, has a great deal of finish missing, or the overall
condition is no longer acceptable, it becomes a great candidate
for restoration. If itís a rare or valuable gun and the condition is so
bad it canít be displayed, then it might be one for
consideration. A true professional restoration is an investment
into your firearm.
Bluing and color casing for the purpose of
custom builds are fun, and the skyís the limit.
Always decide what your goals and your budget
are before starting this process. Last but not least, when you
make up your mind what you want to do, enjoy your experience
because you work hard for your money!
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